51 - Band Saw Upgrade, страница 12

51 - Band Saw Upgrade, страница 12

IN THE SHOP

Pour "Must-Have"

Hammers

▲ Claw Hammer.

For general purpose work, there's no more versatile tool than an ordinary claw hammer.

There are "'striking" differences between these four hammers. That's why each one of these simple hand tools has earned its place in my toolbox.

Claw Hammer

two parts that are nailed together and rip them apart But a straight claw isn't much good for pulling out nails.

Thafs where the curved claw comes in. When you apply pressure on the handle, the curved claw rocks back against the workpiece and levers out the nail. As you can see in the photo at right placing a block under the claw provides even more leverage for pulling out long nails.

Weight - If you're looking for a new claw hammer, one thing to consider is the weight of the head. They range in weight from 7 to 28 ounces. Although I can drive nails faster with a heavy hammer, it puts more strain on my arm, wrist, and hand. So I use a 16-ounce hammer for most work.

Handle - Another thing to keep in mind is the type of material used for the handle. I prefer a wood-han

dled hammer. It's resilient enough to absorb the shock of the blow. The only drawback is the hammer head eventually loosens up on the handle.

That's not a problem with a fiberglass handle or a steel-bodied hammer. Just be sure they have a good quality rubber (or leather) grip to help cushion the blow.

Since a claw hammer is such a common tool, it's easy to take for granted. But when it comes to driving in nails, yanking them out, knocking parts of a project together, or prying them apart, it's hard to imagine a more versatile tool.

Claws - As you can see in the box below, there are two types of claw hammers: straight and curved.

A straight claw comes in handy when I'm working on a remodeling project I just drive the claw between

Which Claw?

A straight claw is great for ripping apart boards that are nailed together. But when pulling nails, you'll get more leverage with a curved claw.

Warrington Hammer

But with this hammer, the cross peen slips between my fingers. As a result, I can tap the nail to get it started without hitting my fingers. Then I just flip the head around and use the striking face on the opposite end to drive in the nail.

Side Strikes - Another unusual thing about this hammer is there's a striking face on each side of the head as well. These side strikes make it easy to pound in a nail when I'm working in close quarters.

Weight - Here again, Warrington hammers are available in a range of weights (3y2, 6, 10, and 12-ounce sizes). I prefer a 6-ounce hammer. It's just right for tasks like nailing on the

back of a cabinet or the wood strips used to hold a piece of glass in a cabinet door. Note: These hammers are available at some woodworking stores and from the sources on page 31.

k Warrington.

/A wedge-shaped cross-peen makes a Warrington hammer a great tool for driving small nails.

Here's a hammer that I keep right by my bench. It's called a Warrington hammer, and instead of a claw, it has a flat, wedge-shaped cross peen on the end of the head. After doing some checking around, I found out it's named after the town in England where it was first manufactured.

Cross Peen - So what's the big deal about a cross peen? In a word, it's a finger-saver. To understand why, take a look at the photo at right. When I'm assembling a project with small nails or brads, the head of the nail barely sticks up above my fingers. So I often end up hitting my fingers instead of the nail.

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ShopNotes

No. 51

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